City helps residents with rent and mortgage assistance

LAREDO, Texas (KGNS) — The pandemic has made it difficult for many to make ends meet, especially when it comes to keeping a roof over your head.

The City of Laredo is doing what it can to help those struggling to pay their rent or mortgage payments as they try to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Under one city, hundreds of people can get up to a year of rental or mortgage assistance.

“They got hour cuts, paid more medical bills, they got laid off,” said Tina Martinez, director of community development. “They don’t earn what they earned in the previous job before the pandemic.”

With the many scenarios the community has faced, the city’s rental assistance program is now in Round 3.

“There is a great need in the community to help stabilize our households.”

For this program, funds are no longer as limited as before.

“We have never received more than $16 million for a program. We plan to help about a thousand households.

Funding for this new program comes from the state and covers past due current and future lease or mortgage payments and some utility bills for up to three months.

To qualify, households must earn at least 80% of the region’s median income.

“So let me give you an example…for a family of four, as long as you make less than 40,000, you can get our help.”

For those who are already receiving help from other programs, you may still be eligible for this one.

“If they receive any type of federal assistance like food stamps or Social Security income – SSI – that would be a pre-qualifying event.”

The agreement is for three months, but households can benefit from it for up to a year.

After the three months are up, the city says it can reapply to renew the agreement and continue to receive assistance.

The city encourages those who have received housing assistance in the past to reapply.

You can click here for a link to the app.

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